Posted in Faith, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Pain, Progress, Relationships, Resurrection, Trust, Truth

The resurrection and the life

Easter Sunday is a day that we enjoy hearing about the resurrection. We enjoy the story of Jesus’ resurrection as well as others whom he saved from death. This power is always an attention grabber because it goes far beyond our human abilities.

Jesus made this statement to Martha in the Gospel of St. John: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live”. I know, at face value the statement doesn’t make sense. Give Martha a break because we know the rest of the story, but she lived it. She saw her brother wake up from the “death sleep” and walk among them as if nothing happened. We don’t read where Lazarus laments about being dead or that the experience was even horrible. He just takes his place among the living. I’m sure he was thankful for what happened. The question I have is that if you die once like Lazarus and you get a second chance, are you afraid of the death the second time?Image

I mean the fear of death has to not bother you as much. For those who survived Hurricane Katrina a few years back, would they be as worried about the next big hurricane? If you have been shot before should the sound of gunfire bother you as much? If you were about to walk away from a deadly car crash, should you be afraid to drive a car or ride in a car again?

I want to attempt to crack open this scripture for everyone to have a better taste of its fruit. If Jesus is the resurrection and the life (and he is), then this ability would work on everything, not just death. This understanding was given to us under the death category, but I contend that this verse is more like the master key — it fits every lock!

So, If I lose my job, I am dead to the job that I lost and I can surrender this dead to the resurrection and the life (A.K.A Jesus Christ) and he will raise up (resurrect) a new job for me that I may dwell (live) in. If I lose my marriage, home, money, self respect, or mind, the Jesus who resurrects will replace the old with something new for me. You see, it was difficult for Mary, Martha and the others to fully understand the power of the resurrection. We struggle with it today as well.

Let’s not limit the resurrection and life to just a wonderful biblical story. Let’s not limit God’s power to only the measure we understand. Let’s surrender everything in our lives that is dead and allow him to breathe life into it again because he truly is the resurrection and the life. 

Posted in Faith, God, God's Promises, Jesus Christ, Resurrection, Truth

Is there a resurrection for the dead?

This week in my life was filled with death.

Now it might sound strange for me to say that since I work in hospice, but my week was filled with death because two people that I personally knew died. And neither was over 60.

I watched at one particular funeral as the people crowded around and some seemed to be really worried about the death. They seemed to be hopeless wondering how will they go on. You couldn’t help but feel sorry for them.

As I sat there watching everything I wondered if many of these people – who considered themselves Christians – believed that there truly is a resurrection for the people of God today.

For Christians who profess their faith it seems that you should never see us hopeless. You should never see us discouraged. We should never allow ourselves to be in the position to allow our actions to deny that Christ has risen.

Maybe it’s that everyone has a hard time applying the idea at a funeral that Christ lives and that our loved ones will live, too –  if they believe in Him.

Who am I fooling?

For America to profess a faith in Christianity, we sure don’t handle death well.

We need a healthy dose of God’s word. Then we need to understand what it means and finally learn how to apply it.

Let’s try it.

In the 14th chapter of the book of Job, Job was lamenting to his three friends about his life. As many of you know, Job, in a very short period of time, was hit with tragedy. He was a rich man and lost all that he had – including his family and his health.

His friends thought he had done something to anger God and he was being punished. Job insisted that he hadn’t done anything wrong.

By the time you get to the 14th chapter, Job, in a very helpless state, wonders about what happens when a man dies. He said that there is hope for a tree (verse 7) because with his own eyes, he has seen a tree that had been cut down still grow.

In Verse 14 Job says this: “If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes.”

Now Job uttered these words with the hope that God would evoke a change in him after death.

This, for him, was just a hope – because Job never got to hear John 3:16. In fact, Job never knew God as his father in heaven.

That’s because the family relationship with us and God was a direct result of the finished work of Jesus on the cross. When he broke the bonds of sin and set the captive free, He established a new covenant with us which now saves us. This new covenant is sealed with the blood of Jesus and was in the mind of God before the foundation of the world.

For Job to have never heard this and to still have a glimmer of hope is marvelous! This is why he was known for his patience.

But to the people living on the resurrection side of Jesus, we need to tell the world about the Savior we serve and the very important fact that He has risen. The fact that he has risen brought teeth to this promise by Jesus: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”

Application: Jesus set us free from sin and this freedom is available to everyone who believes. With that said, if you are a child of God and happen to die (which is something we all will do until Jesus returns) at any age, you WILL live again. If this is not true and Christ is not risen, then our religion, my preaching and our faith tradition mean nothing.

Death does not checkmate God’s promises to us!